WikiLeaks cable: NZ will pursue proposed resolution on de-alerting of nuclear forces

Photo / Mark Mitchell
Photo / Mark Mitchell

October 10, 2007
New Zealand will pursue proposed resolution on de-alerting of nuclear forces


date:2007-10-10T22:23:00
source:Embassy Wellington
origin:07WELLINGTON742
destination:VZCZCXYZ0000 OO RUEHWEB DE RUEHWL #0742 2832223 ZNY CCCCC
ZZH O 102223Z OCT 07 FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC
IMMEDIATE 4785 INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNDSC/DISARMAMENT CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY RUEHLB/AMEMBASSY
BEIRUT PRIORITY 0007 RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 4982
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0171 RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY
0171 RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0306 RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL
PRIORITY 0268 RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0665 RUEHGV/USMISSION
GENEVA PRIORITY 0484 RUEHUNV/USMISSION UNVIE VIENNA PRIORITY 0018
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0100
classification:CONFIDENTIAL
reference:07STATE140048|07STATE141698
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000742

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND ISN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2017
TAGS: PARM, MNUC, ...
?C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000742

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/ANP AND ISN
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/10/2017
TAGS: PARM, MNUC, PREL, UNGA, NZ
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND WILL PURSUE PROPOSED RESOLUTION ON DE-ALERTING OF NUCLEAR FORCES
REF: A. A) STATE 141698
B. B) STATE 140048

Classified By: P/E Counselor Margaret McKean; Reasons 1.4 b and d

1. (C) On October 10, P/E Counselor met with Carolyn McDonald, Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Disarmament Division, Deputy Director Jillian Dempster, and Policy Officer Raylene Liufalani regarding the USG position on New Zealand's draft resolution on de-alerting of nuclear forces (reftel B). McDonald had received a report from the New Zealand Embassy in Washington on the October 5
meeting between Acting ISN DAS Andrew Semmel and representatives of the New Zealand and Swedish Embassies (reftel A).

2. (C) P/E Counselor provided the draft points to McDonald and urged that New Zealand not take the draft resolution further. McDonald responded point for point using the same arguments as the New Zealand Embassy had in its meeting with Semmel; the resolution is balanced and does not target any nuclear state, de-alerting was one of 13 steps outlined by the 2000 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conference,
and New Zealand felt there was adequate support from other countries to move the resolution forward. She added that Nigeria, Switzerland, and Chile had joined with New Zealand and Sweden to support the resolution. New Zealand, continued McDonald, had taken comments and altered (slightly) some wording in the draft resolution. The revised draft has been provided to P-5 members, she said, noting that the draft went out to regional coordinators in New York on October 10. There is an NGO meeting scheduled for next Tuesday in New York as well. Open consultations on the draft resolution will begin next week.

3. (C) McDonald allowed that the USG has made progress in the area of modifying its rapid reaction posture, and welcomed the USG steps outlined in the draft points provided. Nevertheless, McDonald said that New Zealand and other like-minded countries believe that not all nuclear weapons states have done what the U.S. has done, and all could make further progress to reduce the operational status of nuclear arsenals and increase transparency. P/E Counselor argued that the USG cannot accept measures that would affect its readiness posture and undermine its deterrence capabilities because of the proposed risk of accidental use. Any suggestion that the USG has lowered its response capacity could be equally dangerous, and the USG already has taken a
number of steps and put into place safeguards to mitigate the
scenarios outlined in the resolution.

4. (C) McDonald gave no indication that the GNZ would rethink its support for the resolution; she underscored that all the Cabinet Ministers had endorsed the draft resolution before Minister of Defense and Trade Philip Goff announced the proposed resolution in late August.

KEEGAN

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